Cape May Set Dance Weekend 2007

Ahhhh.  The throbbing sensation in the feet that follows a full weekend of dancing.  Wouldn’t trade it for just about anything.

Susan, Charlotte, Bonnie and I boarded a plane Friday morning (after a bit of a scare which will remain our little secret) and jetted off to sunny New Joisey for a weekend of Irish Set dancing at the Connie Ryan Memorial Autumn Set Dancing Weekend hosted by the Greater Washington Ceili Club.  Woot!

We landed after an uneventful flight, picked up the car and since we had a few hours to kill we headed off to Atlantic City to play.

By the time we hit town we were pretty hungry and since we wouldn’t be going to Atlantic City on anything like a regular basis we decided to splurge and give Caesar’s a try.  We parked and wandered through the casino and up to the buffet.

On the way we were treated to a nice view of the boardwalk.


and after gorging on all sorts of foods we dropped into the casino to blow $5 on the slots.


Susan ended leaving up 30 cents and I ended down $5.  Ahh well.  That’s why I don’t spend any real time in casinos.

Before leaving town we took a stroll up and down the boardwalk and piled back into our gerbil-powered PT Cruiser for the drive to Cape May.


We arrived a little bit late and missed the first set but it wasn’t long before we were able to jump up onto the floor and join in.


Bonnie and Charlotte hung back a while to watch since they hadn’t done much set dancing. Unfortunately we were able to drag them up onto the floor halfway through the night, just in time to do the High Cauled Cap.  It was unfortunate because the HCC isn’t an easy dance and we ended up dancing it one couple short.  Nothing like a bit of abject terror to get the blood flowing.


After another two hours of dancing and closing the evening with the Clare Lancers (whee!) we headed back to the Inn and bed.

The next morning found us once again at the convention hall ready to dance as Padraig and Roisin led us through a number of sets.  They alternated between demonstrating the figures with a guinea pig set and then getting us all out onto the floor to give it a whirl.


A break for lunch and we were at it again.


Unfortunately Roisin had injured her foot prior to the weekend and wasn’t able to dance much but did walk around the floor helping people with the movements while Padraig taught the figures.

I have to say that they are both excellent teachers and Padraig’s instructions were very clear and easy to understand.

After the workshops we wandered through the town, did a bit of shopping and looked at the pretty houses.


Followed by getting ready for dinner. 


Unfortunately we didn’t realize that we needed to pre-pay for the dinner and ended up heading off to a restaurant a block away.  The food was good and although the bar and host service was abysmal, the lady who was our waitress was an entertaining breath of fresh air after experiencing the incompetence displayed by servers during the rest of the day.

After dinner it was time to dance again.  We were late back but spent at least three hours battering and twirling the night away.


On Sunday we were off to one more workshop session with Padraig and Roisin. Great fun.

After that we headed back to the Inn of Cape May, checked out and zoomed back to Philly to catch the plane back to Dallas.


If you can make it out to the next Cape May weekend I heartily recommend it.  It was well run, had wonderful teachers and everyone there was friendly and great fun to dance with.  Don’t miss it.

If any of you are in the Dallas area and want to come play with us please don’t hesitate to drop by.

It was interesting being the only people from Texas in the group.  Many of the dancers couldn’t believe we’d come so far for sets and Padraig was a bit disappointed that none of us spoke with an accent.  I suppose we’ll have to pick one up for the next time we see him.

For more pictures and video head on over to our gallery.

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Published by

Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

3 thoughts on “Cape May Set Dance Weekend 2007”

  1. Excellent documentary, I am reliving this excellent weekend.Thank you very much for doing this. Hope that you all will come back up here March 27th – 30th, 2008 for the Comhaltas Convention in Parsippany, NJ….Paul

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